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Chinese internet giant Baidu forms partnership with Geely creating an EV business

By Ramla Soni

13:00, 11 January 2021


Chinese AI and internet company Baidu has formed a strategic partnership with carmaker Geely to create an electric vehicle business. 

The new unit will be an independent subsidiary of Baidu, the company stated, with the Beijing-headquartered company being the main shareholder and Chinese automaker Geely taking a minority stake.

Geely will manufacture the vehicles, while Baidu will be in charge of the software and technology in the cars. 

Baidu has already been testing its driverless-car software, named Apollo, in public robotaxi trials in Beijing.

The company also has its own map app and voice assistant technology called DuerOS which can equip vehicles.

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China’s electric-vehicle market continues to grow and is becoming more competitive.  

Domestic electric-automaker Nio, Li Auto and Xpeng Motors, all reported a surge in deliveries for December. 

Nio most recently released its first sedan called the et7, while Apple iPhone-maker Foxconn signed a deal with Chinese electric-carmaker Byton to help manufacture its first vehicle.

“China has become the world’s largest market for EVs (electric vehicles), and we are seeing EV consumers demanding next-generation vehicles to be more intelligent,” Robin Li, CEO of Baidu, said in a statement. 

Hong Kong-listed shares of Geely were up slightly by 0.45 per cent, after rising nearly 20 per cent on Friday. Baidu’s US-listed shares were up more than 15 per cent at the close of trade on Friday.

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